The city of the Candlebearers

Sassari, the capital of Capo di Sopra, developed from the merger of a number of separate villages, clearly recorded in the names of some of its monuments, such as San Pietro di Silki, San Giacomo di Taniga, San Giovanni di Boscove. The name of the town is first mentioned in an early register dating back to 1131, which came to light in the monastery of San Pietro in Silki. What remains certain, is that the city has been subject to a number of historical phases in its development and has been the protagonist of a series of enlargements and urban layouts which have followed one after the other right up to the present day. 
Sassari rises on a plateau overlooking Asinara and has many attractions: an elegant shopping precinct, a fascinating historic centre with medieval houses on winding lanes, the splendid Baroque gilt wooden altars inside the churches. The fabric of the town gravitates around the Cathedral of San Nicola, whose highly-ornamented facade dominates over an area which has recently been the site of an archaeological dig. 

Sassari is a lively town which unites beauty with a vocation for hospitality and is a theatre for festive and animated events which attract numerous visitors every year. On 14th August the Feast of the Candlebearers is celebrated; the members of the ”gremi” – ancient craft and professional guilds- carry nine large decorated wooden candles, representing the different categories of “gremi” , in a procession which starts at Piazza Castello and finishes at the Church of Santa Maria of Bethlehem. The celebration,which has very ancient origins, is dedicated to the Madonna Assunta. 

But Sassari is also the scene of pure spectacle with its famous “Cavalcata” ( Horseback Parade) which takes place on the last but one Sunday in May for Ascension Day and includes displays by skilled riders who perform all sorts of incredible equestrian feats dressed in traditional costume. 
And Sassari is not just a place to enjoy these festivities; it is also a renowned centre for traditional food and wine and can offer dishes which will make your visit unforgettable. Top of the list are the dishes with snails, cooked in all sorts of different and tasty ways and then there is also the famous "ziminata", a choice dish prepared with the entrails of roast veal. 


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